Sunflowers, like jacaranda trees in full bloom, are proving to be a social media sensation

Upper Hunter residents Kim and her daughter Kate, her grandson Bailey, daughter Samantha and her grand daughter Olivia visited the Carter family property near Quirindi recently to enjoy the sunflowers.
Upper Hunter residents Kim and her daughter Kate, her grandson Bailey, daughter Samantha and her grand daughter Olivia visited the Carter family property near Quirindi recently to enjoy the sunflowers.

Sunflowers, like jacaranda trees in full bloom, are proving to be a social media sensation and this is not only helping farmers but providing a mini-tourist boon for the communities where the sunflowers are on display.

Best known as a producers of vegetable oil and birdseeds the sunflower is now gracing many an Instagram account as well as Facebook pages as people flock to their paddocks to be photographed among and holding the brightly coloured sunflowers.

From the Liverpool Plains to the Hunter Valley and even the Central Coast farmers are sowing sunflowers more for their photogenic attributes than their actual primary agricultural purposes.

Although its deep tap root can improve the soil and of course it is beneficial to insects and birds.

A summer crop, usually grown as part of a crop rotation after cereals, the sunflower is a native of the Americas.

Perhaps these bright yellow beauties have replaced Coffs Harbour's Big Banana or Goulburn's Big Ram - once the epitome of bringing agricultural products closer to the urban consumer and creating a tourist industry.

Olivia with a sunnie

Olivia with a sunnie

Liverpool Plains grower Ian Carter who has grown a crop of sunflowers for tourists told The Land "Our shire's tourist centre has a mailing list of about 300 people who want to be notified whenever the sunflowers are out in bloom and to me, it seemed like a bit of fun," Mr Carter said.

"It's nothing too serious, it's only a half-hectare block on the edge of my sorghum that I've planted, and it was just for something bright and fun for people. "Honestly, the amount of people who have been flooding in to take photos, see the flowers and enjoy their brightness has been amazing.

"I think it's really pleasing to see that something like this can make so many people happy."